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Glen Powell Says Aviation Was an ‘Important Part of My Life’ Long Before ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Blue Angels’ (Exclusive)

Glen Powell Gushes Over The Blue Angels
Glen Powell Rick Kern/Getty Images for Netflix

For Glen Powell, being a part of The Blue Angels documentary after starring in the blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick was a true full-circle moment.

“I remember as a kid going with my grandfather, my mom and my aunts and my cousins and we all had the same sort of experience,” Powell, 35, exclusively recalled to Us Weekly. “From every age group, everybody was looking at the sky with that same sort of reverence.”

Powell called the pilots, who took pictures and signed autographs when they came back to the ground, “real meta” characters who “represented the best of the Navy and the best [of] the United States.”

“It’s almost impossible to watch a Blue Angels show and not be just completely awestruck by what’s happening and how it’s even possible,” he told Us.

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Powell noted that The Blue Angels, which is the elite naval flight demonstration squadron, are an “entry-point” for many of those fascinated with aviation. Powell speaks from firsthand experience — he kept a poster of the squadron in his bedroom until he left for college.

“I just felt like they’re just such an inspirational and aspirational group,” Powell said. “For me, obviously, getting to grow up with that on my bedroom wall is one thing, but to also make Top Gun and to make Devotion and fly with the Blues and feel like the aviation community has really been such an important part of my life.”

After starring in 2022’s Top Gun: Maverick as Lt. Jake “Hangman” Seresin and 2022’s Devotion as Tom Hudner, both of whom were fictional pilots, Powell ventured into nonfiction. He produced the new IMAX documentary The Blue Angels alongside J.J. Abrams and others. The doc follows the Navy and Marine Corps flight squadron through a year of training with never-before-seen footage filmed specifically for IMAX, where it started exclusively playing on Friday, May 17.

Glen Powell Gushes Over The Blue Angels
Prime Video

“I just feel like it was such a privilege to sort of put those heroes on the screen in this,” Powell said, adding that the Blue Angels are “a great team.” He noted that there’s a “level of trust between these guys that is so extraordinary.”

Powell — who was recently on the big screen in the blockbuster romcom Anyone But You — even had a chance to fly in a Blue Angels show in the No. 4 plane, which he called a “really crazy dynamic position.” While Powell thought things went “perfect,” he returned to the ground and there was still more work to do.

“They broke down the entire show in terms of footage and mistakes they made and how there was room for improvement, and it always reminds you, just like with a great sports team, in the pursuit of perfection, it’s never done,” he said. “There was this sort of humility in these great athletes.”

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He noted that “these guys are pushing their bodies to the brink” and yet they’re “never satisfied with the status quo.”

“They’re always pushing to be better and that’s what it takes to keep each other safe up there, never getting complacent,” he said. “So to really get a sense the human element in that plane was a really cool part of this that I think makes this documentary really different.”

The Blue Angels is exclusively in IMAX theaters through May 22 and will start streaming Thursday, May 23, on Prime Video.

With reporting by Andrea Simpson

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